Italcementi will build Egypt’s first privately owned wind farm (120 MW)

Reuters reported that Italian cement firm Italcementi will build Egypt’s first privately owned wind farm part of the country’s push to boost wind power to 7,200 MW by 2020.

Egypt already has wind farms at Zafarana and Hurghada in the area and has installed capacity of 430 MW of wind energy. Italcementi will set up the 120 MW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez, east of Cairo, through one of its energy arms, Italgen.

The ministry’s Abul Ela said that the wind energy generated could be fed into the national electricity grid by 2012. The most populous Arab country aims to generate 12% of its power from wind turbines out of a total of 20% from renewable sources by 2020 and is seeking to attract USD 110 billion in investments in its energy sector by 2027.

Egypt shortlisted 10 firms in November for a 250 megawatt wind energy project to be run on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis. It is likely to launch the second round in mid 2011 for the wind power project due to start in 2014.

 “Back in 2007 – says Carlo Pesenti – we had proposed a ‘Pact for the Environment’ between businesses and institutions in order to take structural measures vis-à-vis the conversion of industrial plants. The goal was, and still is, to improve the environmental efficiency of production processes in combination with more streamlined authorization procedures."

Italcementi investment plan, estimated at around 510 million Euro, distinguishes three specific types of action to be implemented by 2013 on the condition that all relevant permits and administrative approvals are granted:

* Revamping of hydroelectric energy production plants to maintain the installed capacity and construction of photovoltaic solar plants
* Technological actions to replace part of the fossil fuels used in cement manufacturing plants with waste-derived fuels
* Revamping of some of the cement manufacturing plants to increase energy and environmental efficiency of production units

With the implementation of the agreement, significant environmental benefits are expected:

* Reduction of CO2 emissions by roughly 760 kt/year
* Energy saving on fossil fuels of about 260 ktep/year

In order to facilitate and monitor the correct implementation of the agreement, the Pact between the Ministry of the Environment and Italcementi provides for the establishment of a Ministry-appointed Committee composed of members of the Ministry of the Environment and representatives of Italcementi Group. The duties and responsibilities of said Committee will include:

* Submitting to the Minister a detailed annual report providing details on the implementation of the programme and the environmental benefits achieved;
* Identifying solutions to critical issues that may be encountered during the authorization process and promoting faster implementation of actions as planned;
* Facilitating dialogue and co-operation with Regional Authorities and territorial agencies by presenting special reports and technical documentation.